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After Effects and the Adobe Crash Reporter need your help.

Note: It doesn’t do any good to describe your crashes or ask for help in the comments for this post. If you want to ask questions or ask for help, please do so on the After Effects user-to-user forum. If you have a bug to report, please use this form.

(Today’s post is from Paul Uusitalo, After Effects quality engineer.)

Greetings After Effects users.

As some of you have probably noticed, we have integrated some new Adobe technology into After Effects CS4: the Adobe Crash Reporter.

In the unfortunate even that After Effects should crash, the Adobe Crash Reporter collects a record of what After Effects was doing at the time the crash occurred and uploads that information into a database here where we can analyze it.

The Adobe Crash Reporter should not be confused with either the Apple or Microsoft crash reporters, which do not send any information to us.

Here’s where we need your help.

Unless you fill out the Notes section and enter your email address, the raw data from the Crash Reporter comes into us without any context. We can guess at what you were doing when the crash occurred, but we can’t be sure. Nor can we look at a glance and see that you are having the same crash over and over, or that multiple people are running into the same problem. Also, we won’t know who reported the crash or have any means to contact to follow up.

At such point that you do encounter the Crash Reporter dialog box, we’d really appreciate it if you took just a few seconds to enter even the most brief description of what you were doing when the crash occurred along with your email address.

I can guarantee you that After Effects will be a better and more stable application as a result.

Paul Uusitalo
After Effects Quality Engineer

[Here's an update from Michael Coleman.]

You have my personal assurance that Adobe is not monitoring your activity. After Effects detects the crash and we don’t know anything about it until you send the report to Adobe. The report originates on your computer. If you choose to submit a report (and we very much appreciate if you would) only non-personally-identifiable information is sent to Adobe. This includes information such as which part of the software encountered an issue.

Adding more information, such as what you were doing when the error occurred, is very helpful in diagnosing the problem. If you choose to provide your contact info such as your email address, it will only be used in case we want to contact you about your crash. It will not be used for marketing purposes. You can send the report anonymously if you wish.

The reports are often submitted with a colorful expletive or two. :-) While this is understandable and we take no offense, just remember that if you are inspired to express your frustration, throw in some details about what you were doing at the time of the error.

These reports go directly to your friends on the After Effects team and it’s a tremendous resource for you to help us improve the product. It’s my hope that you’ll take advantage of it.

Michael Coleman
Product Manager, Adobe After Effects


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